Dr. Deming on Why Improvement Stalls Out, Today’s Hospital Patient Safety Parallels
Leaders announce that improvement must happen, let’s say a reduction in patient falls.
Dr. Deming would have asked “By what method?” What is the method for improving the system? He would have also asked, “How will we know if we have improved?”
From the initial improvement (which could be a form of the Hawthorne effect, as recently discussed in HBR related to Joint Commission inspections at hospitals), there is optimism and hope that the “continuous improvement” trend will continue (we can draw the line all the way to zero).
Why does Dr. Deming call it “wishful thinking” to think the trend would automatically continue?
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